Today’s episode is dedicated to shopping. Chinese people LOVE shopping and they also do love sales. Well shopping itself isn’t something that should be super interesting or exciting (especially for me because I hate shopping) but don’t forget that in China even such as ordinary thing can become a real experience
Once you step inside a boutique a sales assistant immediately appears behind you. Everywhere you go she is following you. If you are lucky she only follows you but keeps quiet. Unfortunately most of these girls will blow your head off with a long monologue about sales and new arrival goods and not only telling you but also bring a variety of clothes that in their opinion you may like. This happens to me all the time (I mean every time I go shopping clothes which is fortunately not very often). I just want to have a look but the sales assistant doesn’t leave me be. I always use the magical formula that I have been taught in language school which is (politely said): ”Thank you I will have a look by myself and if I need your help I will ask you”. No. Doesn’t work. The girl just doesn’t care what I say or what I want. This is just her job being assistant so even if you really don’t need any assistance she will assist you anyway. It’s pretty annoying….
Well this is more about buying foods in large supermarkets. Rules number one NEVER go to supermarkets on weekends or public holidays. The amount of people in those days badly overcome the capacity of the supermarket. Besides, weekends are ideal days for the promotions. In China it means that there are small stands placed everywhere and all the promoters have microphones and shout out loud the information about their products or sales actions. It’s crazy, noisy and chaotic!
But speaking about buying food in supermarkets there is one more thing that always piss me off and (as all the things that piss you off) happens quite often. When you finally got everything you needed you go to the cashiers where there is usually a queue. So as a normal and civilized person I stay in the queue and wait for my turn. Few people in front of me and one old lady behind me who obviously doesn’t have time to wait. Staying so close to me that I can feel her breath on my neck and her boobs on my back! There is a little space between me and the guy in front of me so I make a small step forward hoping that helps. No. She makes the small step too and stick on me again. I really cannot make the queue move faster. I still have a little space in front of me but if I make one more step then I will push the guy in front of me and the old woman will push me from behind. So I rather stay where I am. It’s better to be pushed only from one side… Finally my turn. I wait until the cashier will take the last item of the guy in front of me so my stuff is not mixed with his. Wasting time! Not for me but certainly for the old witch behind me. I even haven’t started to put my stuff on the counter and she’d already put all her stuff there! My patience has reached its limit. I turned and barked at her: ”WAIT”! She, a bit shocked, jumped half meter backwards and looked at me frightened. It that moment I felt a bit guilty because you know, you shouldn’t be impolite to old people, but anyway I expected at least apologize from her or something like that. How mistaken I was again. The woman woke up from the shock and started to laugh out loud and shout on all the other people around: ”Look here is a foreign girl and she can speak Chinese”….. I paid as quickly as I could and disappeared from the bloody place!
BUY ONE GET ONE FREE
This is the most favorite sales action in whole China. But you must be careful what you buy. Well, if it’s something that you often use (for example one more bottle of wine is always good) then it’s great. Worse scenario is when you get for free something that you don’t want because you simply don’t use it. I went to the drugstore the other day. I just wanted to buy a make-up remover. The sales assistant (stalking me all the time I was in there) told me that if I buy this product I will get a facial mask for free. I said I don’t want the facial mask. I shouldn’t have done that. She apparently thought that I think I will have to pay for it so she called all the other sales assistants in that store and all of them shout on me that the mask is for free (of course they used the translator app to make sure that I understand). I took a deep breath and politely said that I do understand but I don’t want it because I don’t use facial masks. No. They didn’t get it. So shouting again, translator again, I am in the center of the attention again. I just wanted to buy one thing and now not only the sales assistants but also a customers of the drugstore are competing who has a better translator to tell me that THE FUCKING FACIAL MASK IS FOR FREE!!! Simply even if it was a dog shit you must take it because it’s for free. I still have the mask at home….
I don’t want sound too negative here. Shopping in China also has a lot of benefits. Almost every time I do shopping I get discount or voucher to buy something else (Like the other day. I was buying winter shoes and I got a voucher for 1000 yuan that I spent for two winter jackets). Or when you pay cash and the price you should pay is let’s say 45.5 yuan and you can’t find the 5 mao (which is 0.5 yuan) they usually say ”It’s alright, no need to pay”. Or vice versa when the cashier should give you change 45.5 and she doesn’t have the 5 mao she will give you back 46 yuan instead. And one on the top off all – there is no tips. Yeah in China tips don’t exist. If you accidentally leave a tip in the restaurant the confused waiter or waitress will run out to catch you and give you the money back 🙂
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